Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
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Please read Mark chapter 10 verses 46-52 in your Bible.
Very early one Sunday morning I stopped in at Panera's to buy some bagels. The store had just opened, and the place was nearly empty except for the few employees. There were young women of high school age behind the counter. They looked as if they were still trying to shake off the effects of a long night's revelry.
Everyone was quiet and groggy except for this one guy. He was in the back wearing a stained and flour-covered apron. He cheerfully went about his work whistling and humming to himself. Every few seconds he would come out with some pronouncement that I assume was aimed at the help behind the counter. In a loud voice he would almost shout, "WE GOT SOME HOT BAGELS COMIN' RIGHT OUT!" The young ladies gave no reaction. "THESE OVENS SURE DO GET HOT!" They didn't even look in his direction. "I WENT TO THIS GREAT PARTY LAST NIGHT!" The women behind the counter continued to work as if this man was invisible, as if their ears were immune to his voice. They ignored him completely.
The same must have been true of the blind Bartimaeus sitting on the roadside as people passed by him. Certainly some people passed him everyday. Others knew who he was but ignored him as they went. On that particular day when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he began to shout, "JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" It was more than the good citizens of Jericho could ignore. Their local, blind beggar was embarrassing them. They told him to shut up. But Bartimaeus just shouted all the louder, "JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" Jesus heard the man. He did not ignore him. He did not order to him to be silent. He looked at Bartimaeus and saw one of God's beautiful children. He saw Bartimaeus, loved him, and healed him.
Sometimes you have deep unmet needs that cry out to be addressed. At other times you just need to know that someone else cares. But you look around and feel ignored or even invisible. No one seems to hear your cries. No one seems to understand. No one has time. It is then that you fall on our knees with hands outstretched toward heaven and cry out, "JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" Or perhaps you pause and whisper the cry. The good news is you are not ignored by or invisible to Jesus. Jesus looks at you and sees one of God's beautiful children. He loves you. He heals you. He heals you through the calming peace that only deepest, most loving touch can bring.
When it seems that you are invisible pray that God will give you the faith to cry out, "JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" Pray that God will send peace, love, healing, and a compassionate friend.